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The Capsized Costa Concordia & Figurative Language – Flocabulary

A Mini Literary Lesson Plan


For the past few days, the world has been following the drama of the capsized Costa Concordia. But The New York Times’ reporting on the tragedy took a literary turn today. So we thought that this would be a great way for language arts teachers to integrate current events into some figurative language review. Use this quick lesson as a bell-ringer tomorrow!

1. Ask students if they’ve heard about the Costa Concordia cruise ship disaster. Share details that students know about the crash.

2. Share the following two quotes from this recent New York Times article about the captain’s account of the crash:

“Italian rescuers suspended operations on Wednesday, and a farcical twist emerged in the ship captain’s account of the wreck.”

“The drama has captivated Italy, offering the land a national metaphor at a time of political uncertainty and economic challenge, a juxtaposition of hero and anti-hero: Captain Schettino, 51, accused of leaving the ship prematurely, and Capt. Gregorio Maria De Falco, a coast guard officer, who tried to cajole him into returning to the helm.”

3. Review the terms farce, drama, metaphor, juxtaposition, hero and anti-hero. Then have students read the full article.

4. Ask students to discuss or write about the following questions:

  • How do each of the six literary terms relates to this story?
  • Why do you think the writer of the article described this real-life story in such a literary way?
  • Do you think the Captain is guilty?
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Image by Bh7123 available via Creative Commons.

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